Roger Wagner’s new book on casino management

Apr 10, 2012 3:00 AM

They say all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, but how ‘bout No Work and All Play, the title of Roger Wagner’s new book on his decades of experience in casino management?

Subtitled Audacious Chronicles of a Casino Boss, the book (432 pgs, $21.95) includes stories of Wagner’s dealings with Donald Trump and Jack Binion, plus a host of not-so-famous patrons of gaming parlors.

Aside from detailing his life as a casino manager, Wagner offers advice to management wannabes: "To get the most out of a career in the casino business, you must nurture (relationships) to ensure (success) – role models to inspire you, mentors to teach you, partners to assist you, and friends to support you."

John Fox offers a different take on balancing work with play in his vintage 1977 book, Play Poker, Quit Work, and Sleep Till Noon!, which became a prized collector’s book when it went out of print years ago.

Now the Gamblers Book Club in Las Vegas has brought it back in very limited circulation after acquiring the remaining stock from the late Fox’s estate. The book, subtitled The Complete Psychology, Mathematics and Tactics of Winning Poker, contains 343 tightly packed, small-print pages and sells for $50 spiral-bound and $100 hardcover.

A mathematician and physicist who taught at Cal Tech, Fox was also a poker pro who plied his trade in the high-stakes draw poker games in the fabled card palaces of Gardena, Calif.

Fox developed one of the original studies of tells, which he called "The Science of Behavioral Deductions" and introduced as an integral part of his book. He also included "400 tactical and psychological plays" he called "stratefices," which some seasoned players dub angle plays.

Fox’s intelligence is irrefutable. His analytical approach to the science of poker and his insights into how to beat draw poker were invaluable in the era when this now-antiquated game was the only legal form of poker in California card rooms.

His dated, not-so-politically-correct language gives insight into how far the poker culture has progressed. Fox’s partial list of desirable opponents includes: beautiful women, drinkers, ghetto residents, tattooed people, chain smokers, rich people, and women in general.

Few poker books are as colorful or have had as big an impact on players as this cult favorite. Even with its hefty price tag, it’s a steal.

Special to Baseball Fans: The New York Times bestseller, Baseball Prospectus 2012, (546 pgs, $24.95), edited by King Kaufman & Cecilia M. Tan is hot off the press.

With its key stat categories, controversial player predictions, and wise ‘n witty baseball commentary by noted sportswriters, this phone-book sized tome is well worth the read.

These books are available at GBC. Order them at www.gamblersbookclub.com or by phone at 1-800-522-1777 or 702-382-7555 M-F 9-7 and Sat 10-6. Opened in 1964, GBC is located at 5473 S. Eastern between Tropicana and Russell, just a short drive from the Strip or the airport.